News & Analysis

  1. pando-breaking-news-small

    Report: Elon Musk to begin construction on Hyperloop test track in 2016

    Wired reports that a test track for Elon Musk’s ambitious Hyperloop, which the SpaceX/Tesla entrepreneur first publicly mentioned at one of our PandoMonthly events, will begin construction next year. The track will only be five miles long — which is apparently too short to build up to the 800 mph speed — but it’s an exciting proof of concept for what Musk describes as “the fifth mode of transport. [Source: Wired]
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    Join Cloudera founder and “Data God” Jeff Hammerbacher at our next San Francisco PandoMonthly

    There are many reasons to be impressed by the next guest of PandoMonthly San Francisco, Jeff Hammerbacher. (If you don’t need the list, go here to get your $20 ticket now.) The first is that he cut his teeth as part of the very early Harvard/ Facebook mafia gang, that included a motley — but let’s face it, impressive– crew of Chris Hughes, Dustin Moskowitz, Eduardo Saverin, and Adam D’Angelo. The second is that he was part of the…
  4. Lunch Sandwich

    Strange new legal complaint alleges that Google tried to steal employees’ lunch

    Google has just been slapped with another class action wage-theft lawsuit complaint. Unlike previous successful wage theft filings, however, this complaining obtained by Pando, is oddly vague. The complaint, “Rosa Gutierrez v Google,” filed in the Santa Clara County Superior Court, alleges that the search engine giant violated a number of California labor laws governing lunch time, daytime breaks, overtime pay and others. That certainly may all be true, and the law firm representing the plaintiffs, Matern Law Group, is a reputable southern California employment…
  5. Dark Uber

    Uber says it loves the military. So why is its auto-loan partner screwing over veterans?

    Among the many themes at our 24-hour Don’t Be Awful event was that no company is 100 percent “good” or 100 percent “bad.” Take Uber. The transportation platform, under the leadership of Randian fratboy Travis Kalanick, has done plenty of awful things, from recklessly abusing its location tracking technology to promoting a sexist corporate culture to aspiring to smear unfriendly journalists like Pando’s own Sarah Lacy. But to be frank the company also does some good. For example, Uber has made…
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  8. house-of-cards

    Why do we watch “House of Cards”? Stay up with me tonight to find out as Season Three premieres

    Most would agree that Netflix’s wildly popular series House of Cards — which premieres its third season at 3:00 AM tomorrow, Eastern Time — has garnered enough praise and accolades to be considered one of the greatest shows on “television.” And yet it doesn’t fit comfortably into the modern canon of great TV. It’s a smart political drama, but not half as smart — or funny — as The West Wing. With its almost-comically intricate machinations carried out by power-hungry characters, its closest contemporary is Game of Thrones – but that show…
  9. pando-breaking-news-small

    FCC gives net neutrality a win

    The FCC has voted in favor of preventing Internet service providers (ISPs) from creating fast lanes; regulating the broadband industry under Title II of the Communications Act; and supporting net neutrality. [Source: The Guardian]
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  11. Twenty20

    Twenty20 raises $8M, removes the velvet rope on its crowdsourced stock photo platform

    Twenty20 has long hinted at ambitions to reshape the way stock photography is sourced. But for the better part of its three years in operation, the company has looked, at least from the outside, more like a photo enthusiasts community, akin to early Instagram or VSCO today. If only we could have seen this duck’s legs paddling beneath the water’s surface. Today, Twenty20 launched out of beta, offering brands, agencies, and creatives a commercial licensing platform through which to access…
  12. strictly-business

    Amazon hires former White House press secretary

    Amazon has hired former White House press secretary Jay Carney as its senior vice president for Worldwide Corporate Affairs. Carney will report directly to Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos and split his time between its Seattle headquarters and Washington, DC, where he has also served as a senior political analyst on CNN. [Source: Politico]
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  14. elsewhere

    FCC to prevent states from impeding broadband competition

    The FCC announced today that it will overrule state legislators who seek to impede competition between incumbent broadband providers and newer rivals. The decision is supposed to target North Carolina and Tennessee, but the FCC has also “reserved the right to intercede on behalf of municipalities on a case-by-case basis.” [Source: Engadget]
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    Uber car-loan partner to pay at least $9.35M after repossessing veterans’ cars

    Santander, an auto lender with which Uber works to secure loans for its drivers, has agreed to pay out at least $9.35 million to “resolve the accusation that it illegally repossessed over 1,100 vehicles from active military personnel.” [Source: The Verge]
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    Poetic justice: Revenge porn operator wants stories about his misdeeds to disappear from Google

    Craig Brittain, the man behind a now-defunct revenge porn site, is finding out what it’s like to have private information and images proliferate on the Web without his consent. So now he’s asking Google to remove links to several pages — which include the press release announcing his settlement with the FTC and reports on his site’s downfall — by claiming that he owns the copyright to several images published without his permission. Brittain also believes there’s something wrong with the media.…
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    Facebook offers help to at-risk users without placing them under a microscope

    Facebook has announced new features to help people at risk for self-harm or suicide. The features allow Facebook users to tell the service when someone appears to be at risk for harming themselves. Facebook notifies the person in question that someone is worried about them, asks if they want to connect with a helpline or friend, and offers “simple tips” to help them “learn how to work through this” if they aren’t yet ready to talk to someone.…
  19. Overheard

    “GPG isn’t the thing that’s going to take us to ubiquitous end to end encryption, and if it were, it’d be kind of a shame to finally get there with 1990’s cryptography. If there’s any good news, it’s that GPG’s minimal install base means we aren’t locked in to this madness, and can start fresh with a different design philosophy. When we do, let’s use GPG as a warning for our new experiments, and remember that ‘innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1000 things.'”

    — Open Whisper Systems' Moxie Marlinspike on GPG

  20. Garage Storage

    Do you know what your stuff’s worth? Trov raises $6.5M to reinvent insurance for the mobile generation

    Millennials, the largest generation since the Baby Boomers (their parents), have almost no relationship with the insurance industry. This is in part due to low rates of home ownership –and a general malaise toward renter’s insurance — but also due to the fact that the insurance industry has yet to deliver a solution that speaks this massive group’s language the way Wealthfront and Venmo do for personal finances, or Gilt, Wish, and Instacart do for retail commerce. You’d be hard…
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